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Community and Q&A

Tips for Trapping a Mouse

this_page_left_blank | Posted in General Questions on

Sorry this is pretty far off topic, but I figured this might be the kind of thing someone here might have experience with.

We have a mouse in the house. It was spotted by two family members. I’ve had no problem catching mice before, using a number of different trap designs. The problem now is that recently we’ve had a beetle problem as well; larder beetles and carpet beetles. These haven’t really bothered us much, but now when I put out mouse traps, the beetles seem to be eating the bait (I’ve been using peanut butter because it’s worked well in the past). All eight traps I left out last night were licked clean, not one trap sprung.

So short of fumigating the house to get rid of the beetles, what strategy can I use to get the mouse? Is there a bait that the mouse will like but the beetles won’t eat? Are there places I can put traps that the beetles won’t go but the mouse will?

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  1. 1869farmhouse | | #1

    You could use a 5 gallon bucket with a dowel rod. Basically fill the bucket half full of water, drill a hole on either side slightly larger than the dowel, poke it through and put the PB in the center.

    Sprinkle some permethrin around the perimeter and you’ll stop the beetles but the mouse will walk right by. Bonus, will catch multiple mice in the almost certain event there are more than one.

    1. this_page_left_blank | | #2

      Thanks for the idea. Permethrin appears to be a liquid, at least the stuff I can see at local stores. Is there an alternative? Sticky traps around the bucket?

  2. Andrew_C | | #3

    I prefer to use the old-fashioned spring mouse traps because they provide a more or less instantaneous ending for the mouse. A key for this style of trap is to use a bait that is firmly attached to the trigger mechanism, as opposed to something that can be licked off. This is especially true if you use the larger size "rat" traps for rats or red squirrels. An almond pressed onto the trigger was suggested to me by a pest removal expert, and I've found that works well. Also note that the plastic versions of the traditional spring trap are easier on the fingers if you catch yourself, but they're not as instantaneous for the mouse. The wood versions are best, IMO.

    1. this_page_left_blank | | #4

      I already have the wood traps, so I'll give this a try. I'm really not concerned with the stress I cause the mice though, to be honest.

      1. Andrew_C | | #6

        Having recently taken my dog to the emergency hospital after gobbling up some rat poison at a friend's house, I also have been more reluctant to use chemical solutions. Traps work. Now you just have to find and seal the hole that allowed access for the mouse. Doing any fogger tests in the near future? ;)

  3. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #5

    I've had better luck with D-Con than with traps.

  4. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #7

    You can buy wooden mouse traps with yellow plastic cheese "bait." I guess it must have some sort of smell that attracts mice. Nothing for the bugs to eat.

    1. this_page_left_blank | | #8

      Thanks for the tip. I've used those before, but didn't know they were pre-baited. I always put bait on it.

  5. JC72 | | #9

    Find a neighbor who owns a Maine Coon and have it spend the night in your house.

  6. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #10

    I have found the "Tomcat" brand mouse traps to have touchy triggers and work better than the classic "Victor" brand mouse traps. That might be your problem -- the mouse can eat the bait without exerting enough force to trigger the traps that you have. Peanut butter usually works great, and my guess is the mouse is the one cleaning those traps and not the beetles. Try adjusting the traps to make the trigger more sensitive. This can usually be done by bending the metal bar slightly so that it JUST BARELY engages the catch.

    BTW, my preferred mouse trap remains my cats. They are fully automated, include a "search and destroy" function, and will continually catch mice as long as mice are present. They are also all-natural, so the most green option too ;-)

    If you happen to have cats, note that permethrin is deadly toxic to them. Permethrin is also a pretty indiscriminate pesticide (it kills all kinds of things), so be careful in your application if you choose to use it.


  7. SashaCertoWare | | #11

    I worked in a brewery/restaurant for many years. It was in a 150 yr old firehouse that was solid and beautiful, but full of holes. We were recommended a product called RatZappers. I was skeptical at first, but they were incredibly effective, and as humane as you can get for a kill trap. Here’s the amazon line.

    They’re battery operated though, but I’m sure they could be rigged up to solar :)

    Rat Zapper Classic RZC001-4 Indoor Electronic Rat Trap - 1 Trap

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